Monday, May 10, 2010

A Positive Attitude

My mother has always looked at any situation in a "the glass is half-full" rather than "the glass is half-empty" sort of way. She's all about the positive attitude, always has been, and likely always will be. Which is great. A positive attitude brings about positive thinking and positive energy. But...Well, I am not as positive a person as she.

I'm not a negative gal, either. I'm solidly in the middle. Some things will wear me down to the point that I can't find a positive anything to pick myself up. For example, when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Okay, all cancer is bad, but some cancers are worse than others. Hers was bad. While I spiraled in an emotional downturn made up of fear, sadness, and anger, she...Well, she did what she always does. She kept a positive outlook. She did everything her doctors said to do, she looked into holistic possibilities (and did some of those, as well), and she always said, "I will beat this. I will be at my grandchildren's wedding."

And I, outwardly, said the same thing. Of course I did! She didn't need to hear my fears, sadness, or anger. She needed me to be as positive as she was. And so, to her, I was. But in my head, I was anything but positive. I was petrified.

But she did just as she said she was going to: she beat the cancer.

There have been other crises in our lives, both before this horrible timeframe and after, that I've seen her positive attitude at work. From the little to the large, my mother always portrays a positive outlook. That isn't to say she walks around wearing rose-colored glasses, because she doesn't. She'll readily admit when something is tough and/or when something scares her. She leans on others when she needs to. She views each problem for what it is without trying to paint a pretty but false picture.

What she does, though, is formulate a positive belief, which she then latches onto with everything she has. She thinks, memorizes, repeats, and lives this belief. And you know what? Being positive helps. It truly does make a difference. What felt horribly scary becomes a little less so. The suffocating pressure of worry lightens...maybe only slightly, maybe a lot, but it lightens.

I'm not saying that having a positive attitude can cure everything that goes wrong in our lives. But I do believe that being positive can make the really hard moments of our lives a little more bearable, can give us something to focus on, and in a lot of scenarios, can give us whatever it is we need to push through to the other side.

So, while I'm still a student, the best thing I've learned from my mom is to stay positive. No matter what. Thanks, Mom!


Em-Musing said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Tracy.

Anonymous said...

The thing my mom taught me. hmmm. I'm braver than I think. She reminds me of this by telling me how I used to be so fearless that I would sneak off at night and walk the hundered or so feet from our house to my uncles house just to visit him when I was three. If I could brave the big bad world at night back then, I can brave just about anything now. :)

... But just between us, I only snuck out to visit my uncle because he gave me cookies. He thought it was to keep me from wandering back through the dark to our house until my mom came got me but, I knew what I was doing. buah ha.

Maureen Lipinski said...

What a great post! And having a positive attitude is definitely essential in the publishing industry!

Jillian Cantor said...

Your mom sounds amazing, and what a great lesson to learn. And I agree with Maureen, essential in the publishing industry :-)